Odessa Jackalopes (28-25-1-2, 59pts) vs. New Mexico Ice Wolves (31-22-2-1, 65pts)
Location: Outpost Ice Arenas in Albuquerque, NM
Time: Friday 7:30 p.m. CDT | Saturday 7:30 p.m. CDT
Broadcast: (Away) HockeyTV | Listen Live Here
What You Need to Know:
All-Time Record: 13-16-0-1
Season Series: 2-4
ODA: 53pts, Mansfield (19G, 34A)
NMO: 53pts, Howard (32G, 21A)
Down to the Wire:
The max points Odessa can finish with is 67. Their opponent for this weekend is sitting at 65. Meaning the Jacks must win both games this weekend in order to return home still in the hunt for the final playoff spot. Amarillo is sitting in fifth place with 63 points and will travel to the JackShack to close out the regular season. The Wranglers face the Lone Star Brahmas this weekend. If the Wranglers win both games, and Odessa comes away with four points, then the Jacks will still be in contention for a playoff spot. The Ice Wolves face the Oklahoma Warriors for their final games of the regular season. If it comes down to tiebreakers to determine the final playoff spot, one of the options is goal differential between the two teams. Odessa is trailing in goal differential to New Mexico, 25-21. The Jacks not only have to win both games this weekend, but they also must win big in case it comes down to a tiebreaker.
The Ice Wolves have scored the second-most goals in the South (183) but have only scored two goals in their last four games. Their average goals-per-game is 3.27 which is the seventh-best in the NAHL. A main contributor to their scoring is William Howard. Not only does he lead the team in points (53) but he is also second in the league in goals (32). However, Howard has not registered a goal in his last six games. Odessa has scored 10 goals in their previous four games; however, they are ranked 17th in goals-per-game at 2.93. Their leading scorer is Emerson Goode, and he is eighth in the league in goals with 28. All four wins New Mexico has against Odessa this season have come when they tallied five goals.
Odessa is currently third in the South in penalty minutes at 1,040. New Mexico has the fewest in the South with 731. The Jacks come into the weekend ranked 27th on the powerplay (11.9%) and in power-play goals (20). The Ice Wolves are 10th on the powerplay (20.5%) and they have scored 44 power-play goals which tie them for the ninth most in the NAHL. The penalty kill success rate for both teams is much closer. Odessa is 14th in the league while on the kill at 82.0% while New Mexico is 15th at 81.6%. New Mexico has not scored a powerplay goal in their last four games (0/13). The Jacks went 1/12 on the man advantage during their 3-in-3 series with Lone Star last weekend.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
Jackalopes (F: #21 – J.R. Perdion)
The Strongsville, OH native is in his third season of junior hockey. The 19-year-old started his NAHL career in 2020-21 with the Northeast Generals. Perdion played 17 games (2G, 1A) for them before joining the Jackalopes. The 5’11”/180lb. right-handed forward finished out his rookie season playing 24 games (5G, 2A) for Odessa. Last season, Perdion played 59 games and finished with 35 points (17G, 18A). Which put him second on the team in points. The Lone Island University commit has ten goals and 16 assists through 50 games this season. Which puts him sixth on the team in points. Perdion has four points (4A) in his last five games. He has played in all six games against New Mexico and has totaled three points (1G, 2A).
Ice Wolves (F: #7 – JD Metz)
The Mahtomedi, MN native is in his second and final season of junior hockey. The 20-year-old started his NAHL career last season by playing 54 games (11G, 6A) with the Ice Wolves. The 6’2”/195lb. left-handed forward is currently fourth on the team in points with 36. The assistant captain is T-1st on the team in assists with 28. The University of St. Thomas commit has three points in his last three games (1G, 2A). Metz has played in four games against the Jacks this season and has registered two assists.
Photo credit: Danne Braden